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The Impact of Alternative Forms of State Regulation of AT&T on Direct-Dial, Long-Distance Telephone Rates


  • Alan D. Mathios
  • Robert P. Rogers


Federal and state regulatory agencies have traditionally used rate-of-return regulation to set profit and rate levels for utilities. A "price cap" framework, in which the regulatory agency sets a maximum rate below which the regulated utility has pricing flexibility, is possibly a more efficient alternative to rate-of-return regulation. This article presents an econometric analysis that compares AT&T's prices of intrastate, long-distance telephone service in states that allow AT&T pricing flexibility with those in states that do not. The results of this analysis suggest that AT&T's daytime, evening, nighttime, and weekend rates are significantly lower in states that allow pricing flexibility than in states that use rate-of-return regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan D. Mathios & Robert P. Rogers, 1989. "The Impact of Alternative Forms of State Regulation of AT&T on Direct-Dial, Long-Distance Telephone Rates," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(3), pages 437-453, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:20:y:1989:i:autumn:p:437-453

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe Gagnepain & Marc Ivaldi, 2002. "Incentive Regulatory Policies: The Case of Public Transit Systems in France," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 605-629, Winter.
    2. Committee, Nobel Prize, 2014. "Market power and regulation (scientific background)," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2014-2, Nobel Prize Committee.
    3. Mattos, César & Coutinho, Paulo, 2004. "The Duopoly Policy in the Brazilian Model of Telecommunications Reform," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 58(3), July.

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